Christian Appalachian Project continues to serve vulnerable populations in Eastern Kentucky
By: Tina Bryson
PAINTSVILLE, Ky. — As the country continues to face unprecedented needs in the face of Coronavirus, nonprofits like Christian Appalachian Project find creative ways to serve vulnerable populations like children and their families, as well as seniors, living in Eastern Kentucky.
“While it is still unknown how the ability to fulfill our mission will evolve in the coming days and weeks, one thing is clear – CAP staff will find a way to see the mission continue as long as possible,” said Guy Adams, president/CEO. “In normal circumstances, our participants are among the most at-risk in the nation due to poverty conditions, those challenges have been magnified. We are committed to doing everything possible to keep this situation from becoming a life-threatening crisis for the people we serve.”
CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry continues to serve seniors and other families who daily strive to manage the challenges of food insecurity, and now must address food shortages in rural areas.
Logan’s Roadhouse provided 3,092 pounds of fresh produce and dairy products and other corporate partners are working with CAP to address this emergency. Support from partners like Fazoli’s has helped CAP’s Operation Sharing warehouse meet additional needs of smaller nonprofits and charities struggling to help people in isolated, mountain communities. The Rockcastle County School District has donated over 3,000 pounds of perishable food and dairy products.
“We are still providing backpacks of food in partnership with our local school district to make sure that children, who would normally receive meals at school, don’t fall through the cracks. As schools close and children are forced to stay home, far too many will lose the one healthy meal they count on each day,” said Sherri Barnett, pantry manager. Her staff have implemented safety measures that allow them to distribute food boxes through car lines and other methods. “In just one day we had over 80 families utilize the pantry for much needed food. There is a great need and we are doing everything possible to make sure people have what they need.”
In addition, summer camp staff have created virtual opportunities to engage with students who are home because of school closings and are fortunate enough to have online access. They are using social media for arts and crafts lessons, as well as providing virtual tutoring as a way to stay connected with their students. Additional staff are checking on participants by phone and providing critical services such as delivering medical supplies and transportation as needed. CAP’s Family Life
Counseling Service continues to meet needs of patients virtually using telemental health services, while the Disaster Relief Program has donated N95 masks to the regional hospital to help meet the need.
Operation Sharing will have limited staff, working onsite to unload incoming shipments and possibly picking up and delivering shipments. Staff in CAP’s Housing Program will work to complete critical home repairs in the next few days.
“Illness, work closures, and the need to self-isolate will make it even harder for children, their families, and seniors who are hurting in Appalachia,” Adams said. “CAP is developing two Rapid Response
Teams who will be able to respond to critical/emergency needs of participants by being able to mobilize our staff who are now working remotely. We will continue to provide urgently needed food and more to people who are most vulnerable during this growing crisis.”
For additional information about Christian Appalachian Project, please visit www.christianapp.org/coronavirusrelief.
Christian Appalachian Project has been building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia since its founding more than 50 years ago. With the help of donors, volunteers, staff, and the communities it serves, CAP has grown to impact the lives of more than 1 million people each year.
2528 Palumbo Drive | Lexington, KY 40509 | christianapp.org